Bryce Drew’s first season at Vanderbilt ended in the NCAA Tournament. His second started with a win over Austin Peay — and then an even bigger win for his 2018-19 team.
Drew secured a verbal commitment from Brentwood Academy star Darius Garland, giving the program its first five-star recruit since John Jenkins joined the program in 2009. The dynamic point guard is the second member of what’s shaping up to be a tremendous Class of 2018, joining four-star wing Aaron Nesmith, who signed his letter of intent with the team last week.
Garland was scheduled to make his official announcement at 2:45pm at Brentwood Academy, but his story leaked to ESPN beforehand.
"This was the best fit for me and my family. I can have the best of both worlds in academics and basketball at Vanderbilt. Someday the ball will stop bouncing and I want to prepare myself for that situation. My family put me in position to be successful so I want them to see me play as much as possible," Garland told ESPN.
"I want to help change the culture at Vandy. We can be a strong basketball program and a top school."
Garland, a 6’2 point guard whose creativity with the ball allows him to create shots for himself and others, may just be the first domino to fall for Vandy. Five-star power forward Simisola Shittu appears to be leaning hard toward picking the Commodores after cancelling his official visit to North Carolina earlier this month. He’s only taken an official visit to Vanderbilt, and the temptation of joining an all-star playmaker like Garland may be too much to pass up.
Five-star shooting guard Romeo Langford recently listed Vandy in his top three schools as well. Bryce Drew would have to beat out Kansas and Indiana to land him.